Back to Top

Central Statistics Office

Search currently unavailable

 Skip navigation

Press Statement


16 November 2017

Annual Non-Financial and Financial Institutional Sector Accounts 2016

Continued Fall in Household Debt and Increase in Disposable Income
  • Household income growth keeps pace with increasing personal spending
  • Just 50 companies responsible for 30% of Ireland's GDP
  • Total household debt is just under 1.5 times income in 2016, continuing down from more than twice income in 2009
  • €4.8 trillion in financial sector assets

Go to release: Institutional Sector Accounts Non-Financial and Financial 2016

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) today (Thursday 16th November 2017) publishes the Annual Institutional Sector Accounts Non-Financial and Financial for 2016.

Household disposable income increased by 3.9%, as both average pay and numbers in work increased. However, day-to-day personal spending also increased and the saving ratio (the saving divided by income) declined slightly to 6.6%. Saving, as defined in this publication, means the money that people have left after day-to-day spending. People used saving mainly:

  • to pay off loans (household debt to income is down to 147% in 2016 from 212% in 2009)
  • to increase deposits in the bank (up €3bn for households in the year)
  • to buy new houses (investment up 16% in 2016)

Our saving ratio is well below the EU average of 10.3%.

The large multi-nationals had gross profits of €78bn, paid €4bn to their employees and €3bn in tax here in 2016. By showing these corporations separately (following the recommendations of the Economic Statistics Review Group) the CSO gives a clearer picture of how domestic companies are doing: they grew their gross profits by 8% since 2015.

Commenting on the results, Senior Statistician Michael Connolly said: "this data shows that a lot of the volatility in the economy is due to multi-nationals located here. Once they are separated out we see more stable growth in the purely domestic economy."

The financial sector continued to expand in 2016, with €4.8 trillion in loans, bonds and other financial assets. Most of this is held in the growing investment fund sector (up 6.6%)1, whose holdings now dwarf the traditional commercial and retail banks. For scale, the mortgages and other loans to Irish households all together are just 3% of that €4.8 trillion.

These institutional sector accounts describe the positions and flows of money into and out of the country and between households, businesses and government. The CSO provides extra detail this year on large foreign multi-nationals in Ireland, and on the operations of the non-profit sector.

1An earlier version of this release incorrectly stated the growth rate of this sector at 10.1%, it was 6.6% in 2016. 

For further information contact:

Michael Connolly (+353) 1 498 4006 or Christopher Sibley (+353) 1 498 4305

or email

-- ENDS --